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A UKZN Conference Promotes Safe Digital Connections For Youth

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A UKZN Conference Promotes Safe Digital Connections For Youth

A UKZN Conference Promotes Safe Digital Connections For Youth. The conference on “Safe Surfing: Gender, Sexuality, and Digital Connections Among Young People,” organized by the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Gender and Childhood Sexuality.

Professor Deevia Bhana, served as a vital platform for postgraduate students and academics to delve into the intricate intersection of digital technologies with gender and sexuality in the lives of young individuals.

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Understanding the Digital Landscape

In today world, digital technologies have seamlessly integrated into the lives of young people, significantly influencing their perceptions and experiences concerning gender and sexuality.

Unveiling Pleasure and Challenges

The conference spotlighted the joys associated with digital expression and connections, juxtaposed with the stark challenges faced by young individuals. These challenges encompassed various issues such as violence, revenge porn, harassment, and abuse.

Particularly concerning were the prevalent image-sharing practices, sexting, and the vulnerability of girls to sexual shaming and risks.

Key Insights and Perspectives

Distinguished keynote speakers, Associate Professor Emmanuel Mayeza and Dr. Ndumiso Ngidi, enriched the discourse by addressing critical aspects of the topic. Mayeza delved into the consumption of pornography via cell phones and the risks posed to girls, especially concerning sexual violence within educational environments.

Ngidi employed innovative visual methodologies to explore heterosexual dynamics and their intersections with spaces, objects, and bodies.

Groundbreaking Research Findings

Postgraduate researchers, including Ms. Wendy Nhlangulela and Ms. Zandile Mhlongo, presented their insightful research findings. Nhlangulela scrutinized girl online activities, particularly focusing on the phenomenon of “sexy selfies,” while Mhlongo delved into the intricate web of sexual double standards and cultural regulations governing female bodies through online interactions.

Additionally, Mr. Melusi Dlamini, an academic from Rhodes University, provided valuable insights into masculinity, sexuality, and young men’s narratives surrounding pornography.

Towards an Inclusive Digital Landscape

Professor Bhana recently published book, “Girls Negotiating Porn in South Africa” (Routledge, 2023), served as a cornerstone for many discussions throughout the conference. Her presentation underscored the imperative to shift away from prevailing adult and policy narratives that often marginalize or silence young people engagement with their own sexuality.

She advocated for a more inclusive, gender-fair, and respectful digital environment, emphasizing the importance of engaging with young individuals from their unique perspectives to achieve this overarching goal.

Conclusion

The UKZN conference on Safe Surfing offered a comprehensive exploration of the intricate relationship between digital technologies, gender, and sexuality among young people. By shedding light on both the pleasures and challenges associated with digital connections.

FAQs: A UKZN Conference Promotes Safe Digital Connections For Youth

Q1: What was the focus of the UKZN conference?

Ans: The conference centered on exploring the intersection of digital technologies with gender and sexuality among young people.

Q2: Who were the keynote speakers at the conference?

Ans: Associate Professor Emmanuel Mayeza and Dr. Ndumiso Ngidi delivered keynote addresses on various aspects of digital connections and sexuality.

Q3: What book provided a foundation for discussions at the conference?

Ans: Professor Deevia Bhana book, “Girls Negotiating Porn in South Africa” (Routledge, 2023), served as a foundational text for many discussions.

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